Recent wildlife sightings

The country park is made up of a mosaic of different habitats, providing homes for many species of plants and animals. The countryside rangers are working with a number of individuals and organisations to survey the species present within the country park. You can help by submitting a wildlife sighting of your own. 

10 June 2014

A newly emerged white ermine moth was spotted in a field next to Ryat Linn Reservoir. It hadn't quite pumped up it's wings yet which allowed some great pictures to be taken. Thanks for sending this sighting and images in!

 White ermine moth

19 November 2013

A great crested grebe was spotted at the north-western end of Balgray Reservoir. It was in its winter plumage but still a beautiful bird to see. Thank you for sending us this picture in!

Great crested grebe

Copyright: Allan Ogg


4 November 2013  

We recieved a lovely account of a family of Pochard on Waulkmill Glen Reservoir:

"Family of four - drake displaying rich, chestnut head, black tip to tail and small black breast patch on otherwise light grey body. Two young ducks were diving frequently to feed. It was quite nice because when I fist saw them the drake was some distance from the mother and young ducks, but as I approached on the path the drake swam towards the others and ushered them well away from the bank. The bright morning sunshine picked up the colour of his head beautifully."

For more information on pochard have a look at 

20 July 2013

A reed bunting saw spotted by an angler in the hedgerow along Balgray Reservoir. It was spotted as he arrived at 11am and was with him for the rest of the day! No mate was spotted. To find out more about reed buntings have a look at   

10 January 2013

A male blackcap was spotted in the hedgerow around Balgray Reservoir. On the reservoir itself there were also; 2 scaup, goldeneye, greatcrested grebe and mallard! If you are interested in learning to identify some of our winter birds join us on our 'Goldeneye' walk on Sunday 17 February. For more details or to book your place please contact the countryside ranger service on 0141 577 4053/4054 or email

8 January 2013

Our first reported wildlife sighting of the year was of a flock of waxwings near the bridge over the Brock burn on Corselet Road. These beautiful winter visitors are easily recognisable by their prominent crest on their head. They were most likely feeding on the plentiful berries of the hawthorn hedgerow.

A flock of waxwings

Image courtesy of (papaija2008)

23 November 2012  

Two roe deer were spotted to the south east of Ryat Linn Reservoir. They were feeding in the marshy grasslands that lead up to the woodlands behind the old Pollok Castle. At about 100 yards our sighter was spotted and they bounded off towards the woodland flashing thier white rumps along the way!

Roe deer

( Marc Aert) 

15 and 16 July 2012

We recieved 2 separate sightings of a Kingfisher around the waterfall at Ryat Linn Reservoir and at the viaduct and control tower in Waulkmill Glen Reservoir. Thank you very much for the reports and the cracking picture!

Kingfisher at Waulkmill Glen Reservoir 

7 June 2012

A fly fisher spotted a Water vole along the banks of the Brock burn. He saw it just slightly further up stream from South Park Village. Water voles are one of our most threatened native mammals. The massive decline in numbers has been related to predation by American mink, habitat fragmentation, degradation and loss. So, it is great news to hear that the population in the park is doing well!   

11 March 2011

A walker spotted two Roe deer in a field to the north of Waulkmill Glen Reservoir. Once they knew they were seen they ran towards the shelter belt surrounding the field. The does will shortly be giving birth to their young which will be in May or June!

31 January 2012

Another country park siting of marsh harriers next to Balgray Reservoir has been reported. This time two were spotted at about 3pm by a walker using the reservoir path, on the way back to the Balgraystone Road car park. The first was seen beside the small waterfall that flows into the reservoir, whilst the second was a little further on, perched in a tree. Wouldn't it be fantastic if it was a pair!

27 January 2012

A male pheasant was spotted during the early afternoon, running into the woods beside the pond at Darnley Mill.  

21 October 2011

A lucky walker spotted a marsh harrier stalking a family of long tailed tits near the Balgray Reservoir footpath in the early evening - what an amazing sight! They also saw a dipper, goosander, tufted duck, a pair of great crested grebes and many others.

19 October 2011

On Wednesday when we were out with our weekly walking group we spotted an Arctic tern flying over Waulkmill Glen Reservoir. There have been 3 reported over the last week stopping in at the dams on their annual migration. They have the longest recorded migration of any animal making an annual round trip from the Arctic to Antarctica and back again. That is a distance of 74,000km and as they live for 30 years it makes a total distance of 2.4 million Km in a life time! Thank you to James MacKenzie for such a beautiful image.

Actric tern from James MacKenzie

3 May 2011

In the early hours 3 roe deer were spotted behing Parklands Meadow estate. It seems to be 2 adults and a fawn. these graceful deer are commonly spotted around the woodland edges of the country park feeding on trees and grasses.

Roe Deer

18 April 2011

A pair of gadwall (male and female) were seen resting on Waulkmill Glen Reservoir in the early evening. These ducks are slightly smaller than mallards and are an amber list species. The males are speckled and very grey in colour. They have a distinctive black patch to the rear end and a white wing patch that can be seen when in flight.

1 March 2011  

A weasel was spotted in the long grass around the reservoirs. It was heard and then sighted running out of the undergrowth with a mouse or vole in it's mouth! It was a beautiful rusty brown colour. Stoats are very similar to weasels but stoats are a bit bigger and have a black tip to their tail.  

9 Febuary 2011

Male and female pheasants were spotted in a garden bordering the Country Park. They have been coming in to feed on seeds and nuts dropped by other birds from the bird table. They have come everyday since the start of November to get this reliable food source over the harsh winter months. If you do put food out over winter and want to stop in the spring this should be done gradually to allow the birds to find other food sources.  

1 December 2010

A dipper was spotted under a bridge in the weir that runs parallel to Ryat Linn Reservoir near the viaduct (14 arches). Late in the afternoon the dipper was seen swimming underwater hunting for bugs, the water must have been freezing but it didn't seem to mind. About 30 seconds later it emerged and sat on some debris in the weir bobbing away. It then flew off up the weir towards the waterfall near Aurs Road.

To find out more about dippers and why they don't mind the cold water check out issue 9 of Wagtail, Dams to Darnley Country Park newsletter and events calendar.

12 September 2010

Lots of red admiral butterflies were spotted sunning themselves along the path verges at Balgray Reservoir in the midday sun. 

Red admiral butterfly

26 August 2010

On a Thursday afternoon an angler spotted a kingfisher flying across Ryat Linn Reservoir from the beech tree just north of the waterfall. It flew low and fast across the dam:

"The sky had started to cloud over so the electric blue of its wings and its russet chest really stood out against the grey reflection on the water. What a thrill - it's only the second one I've ever seen in my whole life!"

Anglers at Ryat Linn Reservoir

18 August 2010

A heron was spotted at the waterfall pool next to Ryat Linn Reservoir and a buzzard was seen flying near here along the small burn, soaring into the large trees.

7 May 2010

An otter was spotted along the Brock Burn at the tunnel under the flood bridge just off Corselet Road, behind Parkhouse estate.  

20 February 2010

Five adult cormorants on roof of tower structure at Waulkmill Glen Reservoir.

September 2009

30th 2 green sandpipers in the spillway from Littleton Reservoir. 1 red admiral butterfly next to Ryat Linn Reservoir.

June 2009  

23rd Roe deer near Darnley Mill, lots of meadow brown and ringlet butterflies in the grasslands, large red, common blue, blue-tailed, azure and emerald damselflies around Darnley Mill. 2 goldeneye at Waulkmill Glen Reservoir.

22nd Roe deer (below) near Waulkmill Glen.

Roe Deer

6th 3+ painted lady butterflies, grey heron, large red, common blue, blue-tailed and azure damselflies.

2nd - Large red, common blue, blue-tailed and azure damselflies and thousands of tadpoles (below) in the pond at Darnley Mill.


1st 15+ painted lady butterflies, large red, common blue, blue-tailed and azure damselflies.

May 2009  

10th 19 swifts high over Ryat Linn Reservoir, 1 red admiral butterfly and c10 orange tip butterflies. 2 large red damselflies and a sparrowhawk at Darnley Mill.

7th Lots of bluebells (below) flowering in Waulkmill Glen.


6th 3 roe deer near Darnley Mill.  

April 2009

20th A good selection of summer migrants within the country park, including lots of singing willow warbler, sedge warbler singing at Littleton Reservoir, blackcap singing by Ryat Linn Reservoir, swallow at Balgray Reservoir, orange tip butterfly beside Ryat Linn Reservoir and a small tortoiseshell butterfly at Balgray Reservoir.

19th Common sandpiper at Waulkmill Glen Reservoir, sedge warbler singing at Littleton Reservoir and at dusk lots of pipstrelle bats flying around the trees and hedgerows at Ryat Linn Reservoir.

18th At Darnley Mill 2 mute swan, singing willow warbler and blackcap and cowslips flowering in the grass around the pond. The flowers in Waulkmill Glen woods are starting to burst into colour with bluebells, lesser celandine, wood-sorrel, wood anemone and common dog violet all flowering. 

17th At Balgray Reservoir a flock of 150+ hirudines (swallow, sand martin and house martin), buzzard and willow warbler also present.

8th At Balgray Reservoir a flock of 130+ hirudines (c35 swallow, sand martin and 1 house martin) and 2 willow warbler. In Waulkmill Glen Reservoir 1 white wagtail & 1 willow warbler.

7th 2 singing blackcap and 1 willow warbler at Darnley Mill.

March 2009

31st 5 singing chiffchaff in the Waulkmill Glen/Darnley Mill area. 

23rd 1 singing chiffchaff next to Ryat Linn Reservoir.

21st 2 chiffchaff singing beside Ryat Linn Reservoir and 3 sand martin over Waulkmill Glen Reservoir.

17th Coltsfoot (below), primrose and lesser celandine all in flower on the banks of Waulkmill Glen Reservoir.


10th At Darnley Mill lesser celandine is in flower, lots of frogs, toads and both frog and toad spawn, mute swan and grey wagtail.

2nd 1 dipper on the Brock Burn at Darnley Mill.  

February 2009

27th Lots of frogs and frog spawn in the ponds at Darnley Mill, 2 dipper on the Brock Burn and 1 grey heron near Darnley Mill.

23rd Over 40 frogs (below) and lots of frog spawn in the ponds at Darnley Mill and 1 dipper on the Brock Burn at Darnley Mill.


9th 2 roe deer, 2 grey heron, 1 buzzard, c20 fieldfare, 10 redwing at Darnley Mill and 1 great spotted woodpecker at Waulkmill Glen.

8th A good selection of birds on and around Balgray Reservoir including wigeon, teal, mallard, goosdander, goldeneye, great crested grebe, little grebe, buzzard, tufted duck, pochard, grey heron, fieldfare and long-tailed tit.

5th Green sandpiper again spotted at the Balgray Reservoir spillway.

4th Green sandpiper again spotted at the Balgray Reservoir spillway. 

3rd 2 wintering green sandpiper on the spillway on the south side of Balgray Reservoir. 1 jack snipe at Waulkmill Glen Reservoir.

January 2009  

21st First winter Iceland gull at the Balgray Reservoir roost at 16:30.

19th 1 dipper beside the bridge at Ryat Linn Reservoir and 1 buzzard at Balgray Reservoir.

18th c50 fieldfare and c70 redwing near Ryat Linn Reservoir.

13th 1 kingfisher, 1 dipper and 2 buzzard at Darnley Mill.

12th 1 jack snipe and 1 woodcock at Littleton Reservoir.

December 2008  

28th 1 kingfisher at Ryat Linn Reservoir and 1 dipper beside the bridge at Ryat Linn Reservoir. 

27th 11 whooper swan (below)on Balgray Reservoir.

Whooper swans on Balgray 

11th 2 jack snipe and 25 snipe at Littleton Reservoir and 1 woodcock in Waulkmill Glen.

November 2008

29th 25+ waxwing feeding in the hawthrons along Corselet Road, Darnley.

12th 1 dipper beside the bridge at Ryat Linn Reservoir.

October 2008

16th 6 whooper swans on Waulkmill Glen Reservoir.

12th 1 long-tailed duck (female) on Balgray Reservoir.

9th 1 Slavonian grebe on Balgray Reservoir, 1 chiffchaff and 1 green sandpiper on the spillway at Littleton Reservoir.